So, this will be a bit of s strange question. First, a little background. I'm designing my first little video game. It's a farming simulation game with a homesteading theme. I've chosen this because I have some knowledge from my previous love affair with the idea of homesteading but my knowledge alone is not enough. Which is why I'm asking questions here, hoping to gain insight for the sake of some realism in the game. Now, the question.
When building a stone home or stone walls where do you get your stone from? Do you find stones around your property or buy them? Is it possible to cut rock from a rock formation like a cliff?
I'd like to give the player the option of gathering or buying resources. I can imagine some stone can be found lying about or in river beds but would that be enough? Is it possible to source it elsewhere without necessarily having to buy it?
I apologize if my query seems frivolous but it's important to me to incorporate some realism. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
This depends totally on the environment. Some areas have riverbeds with usable stone, some will have nothing but round stones that are hard to build with, some will have muddy beds without stone. Upland areas may have an unending crop of stones that have to be removed from fields to ease plowing (new ones surface annually with frost heave in cold climates), and mountainous areas may have all the good stone you want in piles at the base of cliffs. Flat plains or delta areas may have no stone to speak of for a hundred miles. Exposed stone in hillsides or ravines can be quarried; how easy this is depends on the kind of bedrock locally.
So you need to introduce some sort of geography into your setting... whether you specify it in advance, or let players choose the locale they want to settle in is up to you. There are lots of interesting tradeoffs - lowland river terrain is easy to raise crops in but may be harder to find durable building materials in, and is more susceptible to floods. Upland areas may have a good mix of materials but thin soil.
It depends on the level of civilization in your game.
Stone walls are usually built from stone picked out of the fields. Google Irish Stone Cottages, Irish dry-stone walls, etc.
Like in the pioneer days level ie. Skyrim, stone can be picked up from a river, but it can also be chiseled from a rock face. It all depends on your terrain.
In the pioneer days, either you had someone in the community that knew how to do it, or you came to the area with that skill built in, or you apprenticed with someone else to learn the skill enough to do it.
At it's basic, stone quarrying done from solid stone is done using a drill, then chisels and wedges to split it off into slabs. That would be sandstone, granite, etc, and they're laid down in blocks like bricks and take a lot of labour because of the size and weight, and equipment. (horse & cart, pullies, ropes, some sort of winch system, a lifting system of some sort of crane -even if it's a tree teepee with a pully, just to move the stone from quarry to house, then to set them into place). This heavy stone requires skills, tools, time & labour.
However, shale like areas render the stones breaking off in flakes on their own, very easily done with just a hammer and a chisel. It means the stones come off generally in hand sized flakes or blocks, and easily moved by hand. This means less equipment, skill and labour(a hammer, chisel and wheelbarrow). But the finish looks something more like an Irish cottage, and needs finishing with a limestone/cob layer. They have their own charm, but they're not something impressive like a stone hall.
If your game is set in pioneer days, then there would be other craftsmen around, they'd travel a ways those days, and they'd usually barter back in those days too unless your talking about a 'company' situation. The pay for the job and materials could easily be worked out in your game for just about anything.
It all depends on how much the world is built up to in your game.
Not growing or raising anything at the moment, but I'm here doing research for the future.
Such great replies so quickly! Thanks guys!
Id like to eventually do randomized maps where the player can choose their climate but since this is my first real coding project simplicity is best at the start.
I kind of assumed a relatively modern setting but with heavy emphasis on doing things old school. You start off with little money and have to take stuff to market to afford better equipment or any real tech/hardware. I'll probably start with stones found in fields or river beds but the player will be forced to eventually expand their land and find stones near cliffs. Building a quarry seems outside the scope of the players abilities in the game.
This was all very good info and I really appreciate it. I'll use a combination of the methods you outlined. Thanks again for the help
When I was in Ireland, about as rocky as my home here in New England, even there the style of rock wall or building depended upon location. A unique stone wall I saw was one made of slate where huge, thin pieces of slate were buried in the ground. This kept the rock from tipping over, but laid end to end, the individual pieces made up a wall that kept sheep in. Other places just had round stone laid up upon round stone.
I have built a lot with stone here, but again this is Maine where rock walls are everywhere. I simply take them off the old rock walls and build new ones.
Quarrying is doubtful, partly because there is the issue of access for a high, exposed wall; and quarrying down into the ground requires pumping out the ground water that inevitable runs in. Slate is a different story because it flakes off into manageable pieces so easily, though I will admit there is a huge boulder near me where you can see the star drill holes and chisel marks of where the original homesteaders here in Maine removed square and rectangular pieces of granite for their sills. This was only one course deep, below that they used whatever natural rock came from the fields.
I think you might be missing the biggest part of the equation however when working with stone. It is not finding, quarrying or building with the stone that is the most work and troublesome part of the job; it is the transportation of it. The closer it is to the final job site is what is used.
That goes for a lot of other materials too. Potters almost always used clay that came from within 5 miles of their workshop, except for say white clay for decoration. If you were in an area that had little clay or firewood, other materials would be more used for vessels, or there would be a trade route that supplied finished products from elsewhere in exchange for what was easy to produce locally.
This is all very true. The game starts with a plot of undeveloped land so the player has to use their limited resources (starting with 1-2 workers) to focus on getting the land cleared, planted, ect, eventually moving on to building things like, say, a cart which could be used to transport stone later. The player can eventually buy neighboring lots which is likely where later game materials will come from such as stone.
Very useful information. It's got me pondering many things.
Also keep in mind, that if your 'governing state' isn't very developed, then you can harvest from unowned land for personal use, to an extent, before you annoy anyone, including the government.
Ie, pilgrim days, a Skyrim setting. Public Lands were called Public Lands for a reason, before there was to many people with not enough information of what they were doing for damage to be done.
These days in most places you need permits for much of anything, but it used to be that as long as it was for private & personal use, you could harvest stone and timber, 'within reason', with personal tools. As long as what you were doing wasn't inconveniencing anyone else, it was pretty much free-game at one point in real life, never mind other game enviroments.
Skyrim, Heartfire DLC - the one where you can build a house, is a pretty much as developed as it gets for building and harvesting in a 'major game'. Timers for plant growth and harvest, day & night times, roaming beasts, timers for actions like chopping firewood, harvesting stone & clay. Tho there should have been additional items like hand carts and your horse that should have upped your 'carry weight limits' to make it more realistic. That being said, it's the most realistic homesteading thing I've ever seen or heard about. If you've never played, there's an endless number of youtube videos with the playthrus of what you have to do, what does what to give you an idea. And then there's all the mods(for PC) people have come up with to make the world even more realistic. That's not even taking into count what magic in the game could potentially do.
If your going for a high-tech is possible, like, Second Earth, Firefly resettlement thing, well, that's different. A lot different. You have to work out your backstory first. In a world like that, you wouldn't go off with what you had on your back, not realistically. But it would make an easier game to setup for a first edition run thru. Terraformers, water-catchers, food processor units.
In Firefly, there was evidence of a high-tech where you just dumped in raw materials and it ultra processed it into basic proteins, vitamins and enzymes, and then formulated them into what was basically protein bars and boullion blocks.
Like Replicators from Star-Trek, Voyager semi-addressed/implied the issue that the raw-materials for the replicators came from -somewhere- and were stored in tanks on the ship. That would be easily doable with lots of add-ons and unlockables. Low-quality materials that you could either grow or scavenge, equal low-quality food-blocks. Higher quality materials that you would obviously culture and grow, would equal higher quality food-blocks. All of which could be sellable to get cash to get add-ons for your processor units to improve the quality of the end products.
Creating a processor unit that you just shoveled dirt and sand and clay into it that made building materials is even semi-realistic these days, CEB machines, etc. So that's no to far of a fetch.
I should probably stop rambling, I'm a sci-fi and fantasy addict on my worst days and I can go -on- for hours if people let me, especially about 'world building'. I'll try not to keep swamping you.
Not growing or raising anything at the moment, but I'm here doing research for the future.
I'm wondering what the focus on stone is for your game project?
The reason I ask is that stone work is not for everyone, or every farm.
People have to live in something when they start out, and stone work is both time and labor intensive. Both of these things are lacking in the first year of a farm since the majority of such energy goes into growing food. This is the main reason why many homesteaders in Canada in the prairies in pre-industrial times lived in a sod shack for the first winter.
There is often a evolution or succession of living situations as a farm progresses. A stone house is a situation that evolves out of a more advanced farm situation. Just something to maybe consider in your game.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead "The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision."-Helen Keller
Alice, no need to apologize, I thought your "rambling" was delightful and it's got my mind racing. The basic premise was that your character(s) used their savings to finally live their dream and buy a plot of land. With the little money left over, some starting seeds and maybe chickens or goats, and a run down old trailer, they start living on the land and developing it. I imagined a modern era but the premise is a "back to basics" lifestyle which is partly necessitated by the limited funding. I'm a big fan of the harvest moon series and considered taking some stylistic tips from it, including not making the time period explicit. With all your talk I've started rethinking this. Essentially, the idea started partially as codin practice and partially as wish-fulfillment. The idea of abandoning everything to start a farm and raise it into a prosperous commune is my life dream.
This leads me in part to the next reply (I'm sort, I forgot your name while typing). The player starts with an old trailer (or some other temp living situation) and is encouraged to build a new, better home which can be upgraded. Stone is definitely a later game material but others are available, pretty much anything discussed in these forums (except maybe rammed earth since that requires a machine). Early game stones are pretty much walls at best. I definitely want to plan a steady and balanced progression system in terms of materials, tools, ect.